Family businesses have often wrongly been subject to the “three generation rule”. This rule implies that very few family businesses last more than two generations and almost none till the fourth. While this may be true, deeper scrutiny suggests that most businesses anyway do not survive for longer than fifteen years or less than a single generation. Till the previous generation, publicly owned companies did better as they had greater sources to raise funds. The business potential was limitless and thus scale mattered. But now, business opportunities for individual firms have waned with tremendous competition and upstarts disrupting older businesses. In that context, it is essential to understand that family businesses should be in deal position to leverage the current scenario in several ways. The first major point where they excel over others is talent management. Unlike publicly traded firms which rely on recruiting the very best from a certain pool of talent, family businesses have their internal sources for whom working in the businesses is not a job but a higher calling. The money sourced is also not impersonal through funding but again internal through captive capital. Other kinds of organizations need to worry about maximizing profits, but family businesses seek a sustainable footprint so that their children and further generations can live well. Family businesses are also free from complex bureaucracies, and instead can execute instant action. Finally, instead of separation of powers across an organization, in family run businesses, owners are engaged personally.


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